Soldier Beetles – Swarming to a Garden Near You!

Soldier beetle facts for kids
Soldier beetles are very common at this time of year.
Little Miss B was recently invited with a group of kids to a play date in her friend’s garden. Unfortunately it was cancelled at the last moment due to the garden being inundated with a swarm of soldier beetles. I hadn’t seen these little critters for a number of years but it seems that our local area has become the ‘hot spot’ for them this summer as other people have been spotting them in their garden too. These beetles are interesting creatures so I thought I would share some cool facts about them with you and your kids:

  1. Solider beetles are also sometimes referred to as plague soldier beetles.
  2. They are soft-bodied with olive green wings and a bright yellow abdomen.
  3. They are approximately 1cm in length.
  4. They are omnivores and eat other insects and plants. Some gardeners consider them to be beneficial as they eat herbivorous pests that can attack gardens.
  5. They release toxic chemicals to deter predators however this is harmless to humans.
  6. Thousands of these bugs can infest a plant at one time. They do not eat the plant but the shear weight they can place on it due to their large numbers can cause damage.
    Soldier beetles swarm during their mating season
    Thousands of soldier beetles can inundate a plant at the one time.
  7. They form large swarms in gardens during the mating season however they disperse quickly once this is over.
  8. They appear during spring, summer and autumn.
  9. They can mate in mid-air.
  10. Solider beetles are related to fireflies.
Have you had soldier beetles visit your garden?